I solo'd this past Thursday, 15 OCT 09 - what an amazing day all around, and this was the highlight. I just started training on Sept 9th, and at the time of my solo ride I was at about 13 hours. It felt great logging my first bit of PIC time.
It was a traditional flight with nothing out of the ordinary. I had been out of the cockpit for a week and a half, so my instructor and I took 3 hops around the pattern, full stop in between each. On the descent and landing of the third hop, he signed off my logbook and endorsed me. I dropped him off at the ramp, and continued onward to the runup area to do my runup checks before heading out. Funny, the pattern was dead all morning until I got out.
For the ride itself, I wasn't nervous at all. It felt like just another ride, and that's what I prepared for. The most liberating part of the ride came on my 2nd takeoff when I had to contend with other traffic that entered into a 45* to downwind while I was turning crosswind. I extended my crosswind slightly, turned downwind and adjusted my spacing, preparing for a go around ahead of time just in case. It was just me and my plane. Nobody to help me out with what to do. It was all me.
When I got on the ground, it seemed like everybody made a bigger deal about it than I did, but I smiled big and was happy. When I got home that night, my dad, a pilot himself with 20 years in the Air Force and 17 years flying MD-11's for the airlines, surprised me with a bottle of champagne. He still has his bottle of champagne that was given to him when he solo'd in the T-37 in pilot training, and encouraged me to save mine.
The next morning when we were out and about, the topic of my dad being a pilot came up in conversation with a stranger. "So I hear you're a pilot?" "Yeah, I was in the Air Force for 20 years, and have been flying for the airlines for almost the past 20." He looked over at me and said, "My son is a pilot too, he just flew his first solo yesterday." I think that's when it finally hit me.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the video. I've included intercom and radio traffic. I apologize ahead of time if the music's not to anyone's liking. I'll probably work on making one without music later on.